It started with a parking ticket on the windshield of my significant other's truck. Several actually. Not being a detail-oriented guy, he opted to wait until oh, never to pay them. They opted to hunt his truck down in front of our building and boot it. The next day, he was occupied and as his unofficial helper monkey, I got his debit card and went online to pay them. Thanks to the remarkably efficient system, I was finished in about three minutes, at 11:27 a.m. The online system assured me the boot would be removed before 6 p.m. Roughly an hour and a half later I headed out for a bit of shopping. Imagine my surprise when I returned several hours later and found an empty spot where the truck had been. A phone call to its owner confirmed he hadn't moved it. "The police tow it," grunted the nice old Greek man who sits at the gas station at the end of our block and observes such things, then slowly doles out the details to agitated young women. "Was two hours ago." Within minutes I was on the phone with a man at the police department towing dispatch who informed me that the truck had indeed been towed. The following tango ensued, with explanations numbering three:
1. "Welllll, yeah, the computer shows you paid this morning but the problem is we were already on the way to get it."
Me: "Nice try. I left the house more than 90 minutes after paying the tickets and the truck was still there. And I have the confirmation email showing what time I paid. You all had plenty of time to figure out that the truck shouldn't have been towed."
2. "OK, I talked to my supervisor and he said that yeah, it shouldn't have been towed. So just bring your receipt down to the impound lot in Southeast and--"
Me: "Absolutely not. (Admittedly, I became a bit of a crankypants here and the tone went from righteous indignation to redhead righteous indignation. It is not a subtle distinction.) I am not spending $20 on a cab to take me to God-knows-where Southeast because of your department's screw up. You guys came and towed it improperly, you can bring it back!"
At this point 22 minutes pass with me on hold as this works its way up the chain of command. I can only assume from the length of time, that this included Chief Ramsey, Anthony Williams, Adrian Fenty's transition team, the Queen, the Gettys, the Rothschilds, the Vatican, and Col. Sanders.
Then, came my favorite explanation of all. He couldn't even muster more than a half-hearted delivery:
3. "They, uh, say they would bring it back but there's a firehouse on that block so they're gonna have a problem getting the truck down through there to do it."
Me: "AHAHAHAHAHAHA! How about this: how about, NOPE! Tell them to send the same truck
that they sent down the same street
, past the same firehouse
, to haul it out of here improperly. Seriously, I want the truck back in front of our building by 6."
And exactly one hour and 30 minutes later, came the D.C. Police Department, bearing my significant other's truck. Having arrived home as this saga was in its waning moments, he shook his head in amazement as we approached the truck. "I can't believe you just got them to do that," he said, before adding, "That. Just. Happened."